Indicator biodiversity

Swiss Bird Index®

Birds arise in a wide variety of very different natural habitats, but most often have specific requirements of their habitat. Hence, breeding bird populations are a valuable indicator of the state of biodiversity in general. In the short term, population trend is dependent on weather conditions and other random fluctuations. The observation of long-term trends enables conclusions to be drawn about the success of measures implemented for the conservation of species, changes in their habitats and the impact of harmful factors.

Assessment of the state
poor poor
Assessment of the trend
negative negative
Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2018: 50.0883828504406 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2017: 54.0088413678377 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2016: 54.5053082430809 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2015: 53.5855876084796 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2014: 59.201837433814 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2013: 59.2401018710545 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2012: 56.2506789743348 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2011: 59.4807096564997 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2010: 49.3715774085408 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2009: 51.3452415798293 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2008: 50.4663373098777 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2007: 62.7149861294983 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2006: 64.7629226811268 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2005: 63.448062864447 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2004: 75.0266753404594 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2003: 64.8792549129834 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2002: 67.7210793043512 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2001: 75.4263905889587 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 2000: 78.5881098867551 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1999: 77.4681267336853 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1998: 67.8865410756545 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1997: 74.307464873351 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1996: 82.1648223671119 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1995: 76.0122439538616 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1994: 86.8324175896292 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1993: 86.584226826549 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1992: 88.3419265882777 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1991: 83.0053149434609 Thereof Red List species (42 species) 1990: 100 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2018: 97.6344103241882 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2017: 98.7132615933351 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2016: 100.082323854538 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2015: 100.307235352466 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2014: 101.773032976616 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2013: 100.786458211053 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2012: 99.3244823170186 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2011: 95.9437761520383 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2010: 96.0912703743608 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2009: 89.9235003056873 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2008: 94.7031693582098 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2007: 99.677049667521 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2006: 93.2796858213039 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2005: 96.3566933472272 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2004: 94.1112774385431 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2003: 90.0972426984827 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2002: 83.4235587851731 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2001: 85.2222974359029 Breeding bird species (174 species) 2000: 94.0141931028063 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1999: 85.3237904428143 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1998: 83.020176816335 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1997: 90.5717511121164 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1996: 99.2011725750952 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1995: 95.2555853978222 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1994: 95.802627758578 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1993: 98.5427794143695 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1992: 96.3358384875457 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1991: 92.9679414608506 Breeding bird species (174 species) 1990: 100
Index (1990 = 100)

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach
Comment

The trend for all bird species that breed regularly in Switzerland has been balanced over the last 30 years. In contrast, the development of the 42 Red List species, which account for almost one quarter of Swiss breeding bird species, continues to decline. Since 1990, these species have declined by more than 40%.

The assessment concerns only the development of Red List species as these species are more likely to become extinct and measures for their conservation are a priority as a result.

More information about the state of Birds in Switzerland.

International comparison

The indicator is similar to the “Common Bird Index” of the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring (PECBM). However the two indices differ in relation the number and selection of the bird species considered.

Method

The Swiss Bird Index® is calculated by the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach. It provides regular information about the changes in the populations of breeding bird species found in Switzerland. These include bird species which have brooded in Switzerland in at least nine consecutive years out of ten since 1990 (excluding birds that have been introduced and escaped from captivity). The population in 1990 was defined as the index value of 100.

The evolution of all bird species that breed regularly in Switzerland and those featuring on the Red List are included in the Index. As one of key indicators, the Swiss Bird Index is used for the federal authorities’ monitoring of sustainable development in Switzerland (Monitoring Nachhaltiger Entwicklung, MONET).

Basis for assessment of the trend
Targeted trend Initial value Final value Variation in % Observed trend Assessment
Stabilisation Average 1990-1992 Average 2016-2018 -41.55% Decrease negative
Basis: Thereof Red List species (42 species)
 
Last updated on: 08.11.2019

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